Poland: new draft law could ban all abortions

Polish pro-life demo

Polish pro-life demo

The Pro-life Foundation in Poland  say they have collected 600,000 signatures in favour of a bill that would prohibit any type of abortion in the country.

The present Polish legal system had asked the promoters of the initiative to collect 100,000 signatures in three months. The Foundation, in charge of the initiative, has collected 600,000 in two weeks. The initiative is supported by the Catholic Church and a new Parliamentary Pro-Life Committee.

 "This project is definitely an opportunity to reject the legacy left by Nazism and Communism,  which brought the practice of abortion to Poland", said a statement by Jacek Sapa, a member of the Foundation, released by Aica Agency.

In 1993 Poland passed what many consider to be the most restrictive abortion laws in the world.

Since then, the rate of  legal abortions has declined substantially. According to estimates by the Ministry of Health, there was a decrease from 82,000 abortions in 1989 to approximately 500 recorded in 2008.

The current legislature provides recourse to abortion only when a baby is diagnosed with a serious illness, when the mother has a grave health problem or when the pregnancy is the result of "an unlawful act" such as rape.  

A Polish Catholic doctor who asked not to be named, said: "this  proposed law could lead to a tragic situation where a woman, for example, with an ectopic pregnancy, in some circumstances could die if she is not given an abortion. At the same time a baby in such a situation will not survive to full term. While abortion is a terrible thing, there are times when I believe it is clinically necessary and therefore must be allowed by law. These campaigners must take into account the views of medical experts."

But Mr Sapa rejected this opinion, saying: "physicians often abuse the law, and even if the maximum allowed by law is 24 weeks, they go further".

Source: Fides/ICN

Tags: abortion, Jacek Sapa, Poland

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